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  1. Hi. Does anyone know what's going on at the Cross Keys Diner in Doylestown? They have been closed almost all summer. I'm leaving the area in a month and I am hoping to get one last shot at one of Anne's wonderful breakfast hashes. Are Steve and Anne ok?
  2. Yeah, I think I'm coming to the same conclusion. I will find most of what I need in Jax and I will order what I can't find on the web. I can get a little obsessive about sourcing this stuff because we have an embarrassment of riches in the Philadelphia area. OTOH, you can get almost anything on the web. The aforementioned Lobel's is on the web. Did you know you can even order Poilane bread straight from the bakery in Paris? I'm not going to spend that kind of money on bread but it's nice to know that it's available. My wife gave me some perspective the other night after she read my last post on this thread. She turned to me and she said "You know, it's not like we're moving to Botswana!". We both burst out laughing. I need to relax
  3. I've been to Piccadilly elsewhere in Florida (Naples, I think) and really enjoyed it. I love cafeterias and meat + three's, in general. Piccadilly is actually the company that took over Morrison's assets when Morrison's went out of business years ago. I've been to Golden Corral too (I think in Alabama). It didn't leave much of an impression on me but if I'd hated it, I would have remembered that I don't cook shrimp too often but that could easily change. I make a mean Thai red curry sauce so I think that could pair with the local shrimp really well. You are also not the first person to recommend Publix, so I look forward to checking that out. Fresh Market is new to me but it looks very promising. Full service butcher department, which is a big plus for me. I was checking out their web site and it turns out there is one about an hour from where I live now. If I'm feeling "spendy" (gasoline, of course), I might just drive up there and have a look around. And I just let my Costco membership go because we weren't getting our money out of it (two of us in a small apartment -- just how much toilet paper can you stockpile? ). But I'm sure they would take my money again if I changed my mind. Can you tell me more about the specialty food stores? Are you able to get ingredients that you would find in the average Fine Cooking recipe (is there such a thing)? How about fresh cheese? Artisan bread? I know, I know -- I'm a spoiled New Yorker. I think I've actually been to Red Chili's, too! Is it on Baymeadows? One of my colleagues took me there for the lunch buffet. Loved it! I will be very happy going there for my Indian fixes.
  4. We spend a lot of time in and around of both cities. We are from NYC originally (and that is where my parents are now) but we live in lower Bucks County in PA. I work near Princeton. We've become quite spoiled because we are really within shooting distance of both cities. We gravitate more towards Philadelphia these days because it is so much closer but we still get to NYC quite a lot. Although we haven't signed a lease yet, it looks as if we will be living in Southside. We will be renting to start and Southside seems to have an abundance of nice rental properties. But we have no qualms about driving an hour or more for a good meal. I've since seen some of your other posts about JAX and St. Augustine and now know about some nice places like Opus 39 that we will be trying once we get settled in. But I'm interested in learning about places that are more indigenous to the area. I'm guessing that would be shrimp shacks, BBQ joints and the like. We do an awful lot of our own cooking and baking, so it would be really helpful to know about where to shop. Are there any good butchers, bakeries, and specialty food stores? Also, which supermarkets do you like? We like to buy organic when we can although we don't get crazy about it. I found a place that I liked called Native Sun when I was down there last and a friend also recommended a chain called Fresh Market. I know you're also getting a Whole Foods soon, too (we call them "Whole Paycheck" ). I see there's also what looks like a big Farmer's Market off of I-10. I know not to expect Reading Terminal Market but, beyond that, I don't know what to expect. And even though I can easily order spices from them in the mail, it's nice knowing there is a local Penzey's nearby. You are very kind to offer to share your eldercare experience with me and I may take you up on your offer at some point in the future. Right now, the best thing for me to do is to leave them in their home, which is where they want to be and where my brother can keep an eye on them. Still, it will be very hard to leave them behind even though I'll be flying up frequently to see them. Finally, the DIY BBQ thing is very appealing to me. Let's hope the JAX fire code is a little more friendly towards food smokers than the NJ-PA codes are! I will PM you prior to our next visit. I would love to get together over coffee and hear about your experience down there.
  5. Funny you should mention that particular restaurant as my boss eagerly pointed out its arrival it to me the other day as a way of saying "See, Jacksonville is not such a backwater!" My company is relocating my job there and I will be moving from the NY-Phila area in the Fall. I'm not happy about it but that has more to do with my ailing parents than anything else. When I visited in December, I was overwhelmed by lack of non-corporate dining options and underwhelmed by the quality of the BBQ, which was on a par with what I could find in Philadelphia (which is not saying much ) I've reconciled with the fact that I won't find a lot of the things I love down in JAX. But, surely there must be other meals I'll enjoy. What do I have to look forward to?
  6. Well, I'll place my "me too" vote for Assi. Aside from the food court, which Diann mentioned, the selection is spectacular. In fact, their selection is so comprehensive that even their Mexican section is pretty good. I can find two different kinds of Mole sauces there that I simply can't get in most mainstream supermarkets, including Whole Foods.
  7. Sandy, I've been really happy with everything I've purchased from Giunta's in recent months and he is now my butcher of choice in the market. Charlie, in particular, is very accommodating about special cuts and the like. We tried his spare ribs at the beginning of the summer and they were great. He trimmed them down to a proper St. Louis cut for me, as well. Great stuff!
  8. I guess what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. I know that if I loved those samosas enough, I'd close my eyes and forget about hygiene After making the usual rounds at FFF and Livengood this morning, my wife and I crashed at DiNic's and tried the Roast Pork with Rabe (our first time since they started serving it again). Wow! I finally have an excuse to stop trekking down to Oregon Ave. He says it's selling well. Well enough, I hope, for him to keep it around for a long time.
  9. I've been enjoying Sweet Lucy's since they opened their brick and mortar in Northeast Philly nearly two years ago. And while I've had much better 'cue in the South, for Philly, this place is the bomb. One thing you should all know about is that SL's started an AYCE buffet back in March on Monday nights only, running from about 5:30 to 8:30. IIRC, it was about $17 or $18 for the trough. The buffet menu changes from week to week and not all the regular menu items are served on Mondays but I never saw anyone walk away complaining. Last time I was there, the entrees included pulled pork, shredded brisket, smoked salmon, smoked sausage, baby backs, chicken and beef ribs. Smoked Salmon is usually a Friday night special and is really good. The sausage is a regular menu item and is addictive (think smoked Keilbasa). Beef ribs are a sometimes special and not their best dish IMO. Alas, missing that evening were their regular ribs which I prefer to baby backs. They served all of their traditional sides, lots of their homemade cornbread (Yankee style) and their wonderful homemade rolls. There are a few nods to the fact that it is in Philly -- there is garlic in the mash and the cornbread is sweet -- but this place is every bit as good as anything else the Northeastern part of the country has to offer. I honestly haven't had better 'cue north of the Mason-Dixon line.
  10. Hmm, now I'm confused (not atypical ). Back in the '70s, Gus was on Hester, just west of Essex and Hollander was on Essex just south of Grand. Then they merged, the Hester St. closed and the merged business was run out of the Essex St. location. Now you're saying that they've picked up entirely and moved to Orchard St., and someone else has moved into the Essex St. location? Who's pickles do you like better? All the more reason to get out of Philly and re-visit the Doughnut Plant. It'd be fun to see what's changed in the neighborhood.
  11. Katie, it was a pleasure meeting you at Picanha. Ann and I hope to see more of you both on- and off-line. We wish you all the best!
  12. I adore the Doughnut Plant! When I worked on Wall Street, a friend and I used to make a round-trip cab run up there to get donuts for special occasions. The chocolate donuts are made with Valhrona! These are among the best donuts I've ever had. Whenever I'm there, which - unfortunately - is rare these days, I always hit Kossar's Bialys and Gus' Pickles which are a couple of doors and and a half-block away, respectively. I think you can also buy Doughnut Plant donuts at Dean & DeLuca.
  13. I'd just like to add to Sandy's point that there are a whole class of people -- I count myself among them -- who come into Philadelphia with the express purpose of shopping in the Reading Terminal Market. For us, the proximity of a Whole Foods Market is completely irrelevant.
  14. I've been buying my Flank steaks at Costco lately and while I don't remember the price I paid, I was very happy with the quality. Based on the quality of the NY Strips I got there, I would try Giunta's at RTM, as well but, again, I don't know what their price is.
  15. I think the merchants have it exactly right. They're not backing him because he's a saint or a jerk. They're backing him because, as Sandy pointed out earlier in this thread, ". . . of the principle involved. That principle being that absent a breach of the lease, existing tenants should not be evicted without first being given an opportunity to re-up." This notion that Rick will survive and thrive elsewhere obscures the issue. If RTM can do this to Rick with the thinnest veneer of a business case, what would stop them from doing this to any other merchant in the Market? The other merchants are smart enough not to buy the "Rick had this coming" line. That's just today's excuse. What will tomorrow's be? Rick's behavior is a footnote to the other merchants because they recognize abuse of power when they see it. I don't have as much faith in human nature as Holly does but I share his hope. And I hope Rick doesn't go down without a fight because I believe -- his behavior notwithstanding -- that he is right. As futile as it might seem, I think a principle is worth fighting for.
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